1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Cat? Oposom? Something else? Day time kill of our 8 Month Barred Rock hen. See PICS.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 777funk, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    39
    May 28, 2015
    We just lost our best layer a few days ago at around 8 months of age.

    The crime scene:
    -Day Light Hours. Next to a road side barbed wire fence line of cedar trees and brush where the chickens like to hang out during the day
    -There was a bite to the neck for the kill and a pile of feathers. The crop was eaten and part of the breast.


    Suspects:
    -we've been seeing Oposum lately (several of them. killed one with the pellet gun a month ago).
    -we have an outdoor tom cat that lives off of the land. We do feed him scraps but he is pretty much a wild cat and regularly kills mice and birds. He stalks the chickens at times but usually loses when out in the open (what we see of him). He's very sneaky and a good hunter.
    -hawks have been hanging out near that same fence line

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  2. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Im gonna say this was the work of a hawk. Theyre the only predators that will take birds during the day. The breast being eaten is typical of a hawk.
     
  3. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    39
    May 28, 2015
    That very well could be. All the feathers were right there next to the bird. We've had a few that were drug at night (as evidenced by a trail of feathers) which would more likely be a fox, coyote, or coon. Whatever killed this did it by the fence line and camped out right where it died to eat it.
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,178
    253
    211
    Jul 18, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    X3 on the hawk. Hints, the explosion of feathers means an areal predator. A fox or canine would have carried the bird away and eaten it. A hawk will eat at the attack scene. Opossums seem to be night time opportunists, not good at taking chickens down during the day and raccoons should be out only at night. They will tear a chicken apart.
     
  5. 777funk

    777funk Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    39
    May 28, 2015
    So I take it if I want to keep my birds, I'd better say no to free ranging. Bummer!
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,102
    129
    188
    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    Lost 3 birds to red tailed hawks in past years an your photo reminds me all to well of how they operate. Raccoons and opossums are egg suckers and wont usually eat you chickens. Kill them possibly, but not as likely as the hawk. Something must have startled the hawk or he would have eaten more than just part of the breast. You would have been looking at a pile of feathers! Hawks are a protected bird.
     
  7. beccaWA

    beccaWA Chillin' With My Peeps

    229
    34
    121
    Feb 22, 2012
    Eastern WA
    I just lost a drake last night to a red-tailed hawk. I'm sure of that because this morning he was still hanging out in a tree over his kill. The duck looked almost exactly what your chicken looks like. He got him on their way into the coop in the evening.
     
  8. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,319
    244
    156
    Sep 25, 2015
    Void where prohibited.
    Looking at the picture, I'm going to guess C-4.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    31,873
    4,694
    536
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hawks are not the only daytime predator......just about any predator will kill during the day if it's hungry and opportunity knocks.
    ....and wandering dogs, well....
     
  10. Coralietg

    Coralietg Chillin' With My Peeps

    581
    41
    158
    Apr 10, 2010
    Opelousas, LA
    Agree with other posts, hawk. Carcass looks exactly like our light Brahma that was killed. I witnessed the red tail hawk flying away from her when I went out to check on the chickens. We didn't lose anymore chickens after that, I think we just had a desperate hawk. We have a decent pine and sycamore canopy they would rather not come under. Sorry for your loss!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by